May 27, 2014 2:40 pm
Updated: May 27, 2014 7:41 pm

‘We didn’t have a system in place’: former mayor of flood-battered High River


CALGARY- As the first anniversary of the devastating 2013 Alberta floods approaches, the former mayor of High River is reflecting on the disaster that destroyed most of the town.

While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Emile Blokland said that the town simply wasn’t prepared for the scale of the disaster, and how long people were displaced from their homes.

“A lot of these folks needed to get back to their homes, and they could understand the evacuation, but they just wanted to get back for medicine, or to pick up a vehicle, or to get some clothes or things of that nature,” Blockland said.

“And we didn’t have a system in place to be able to deal with that.”

Hundreds of homes were destroyed during the flood, and many displaced residents don’t have plans to move back. Blokland, who was criticized during the recovery process, did not seek re-election for mayor, and now serves as a town councillor.

The town of High River will hold a ceremony on June 20, to commemorate the one year anniversary.

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